Jay Rosen traces the failure of journalism from Judy Miller to Wikileaks:
When the Society of Professional Journalists gave Miller a First Amendment award it was October of 2005, three years after mushroom cloud Sunday. When David Gregory of NBC said there was nothing wrong with his and his colleagues performance in examining Bush’s case for war (“I think the questions were asked. I think we pushed. I think we prodded…”) six years had elapsed.[…]In May of 2004, the New York Times, to its great credit, finally went back and looked at its coverage of the build-up to war in Iraq. (Shamefully, NBC and the other networks have never done that.) But the Times did not look at the problem of journalists giving powerful officials a free pass by stripping names from fear-mongering words and just reporting the words, or of newspapers sworn to inform the public keeping secrets from that same (misinformed) public, of reporters getting played and yet refusing to ID the people who played them because they needed to signal some future player that the confidential source game would go on.
Bruce Schneier makes five good points, including this one:
3. I’m not surprised these cables were available to so many people. We know access control is hard, and it’s impossible to know beforehand what information people will need to do their jobs. What is surprising is that there weren’t any audit logs kept about who accessed all these cables. That seems like a no-brainer.
I think State and the Pentagon get the second point, and I’d be surprised if there aren’t significant changes in the way secret information is classified and accessed. I see very little evidence that journalists get the first point.